Starting school is both an exciting and challenging milestone in everyone’s life.
While it brings a myriad of possibilities for the future, kids may also face hurdles in terms of studies or fitting in due to their home environment.
One Malaysian girl appears to have trouble making friends at school, and it’s all supposedly due to language barriers.
In a video shared by her mother, she claimed that no one wanted to be friends with her as she speaks English.
The struggles of the Malaysian girl in making friends drew attention when her mother, Farahani, posted a video to TikTok last Tuesday (21 Mar).
@hwnamasaya Xpenah pikir blh jd mcmni.. Sory sayang Mama😢😢 #sekolah2023 #poorgirl #sorry ♬ suara asli – Intan Nuraini Andalia
At the beginning of the short clip, the girl appears to be all bright-eyed and ready for school.
Via onscreen text, Farahani shared that her daughter was very happy and enthusiastic to be starting school that morning.
As such, it contrasted heavily with the scene that came after that, which showed her daughter distraught and in tears.
According to the video, the girl came home that afternoon sobbing.
When her mother asked her why, she simply said that no one wants to be friends with her because she “speaks English”.
Since Farahani and her daughter are of Malay descent, it is likely that she is studying at a public school where the majority of students speak Malay.
The girl’s mother also added in the video that she is not fluent in Malay, hence the language barrier between her and her peers.
Seeing her daughter break down over her inability to make friends made Farahani heartbroken.
In the video’s caption, she said she never thought such a thing could happen, and apologised to her.
Yesterday (26 Mar), Farahani posted a follow-up video in response to a commenter.
The commenter had said that they’re one of her daughter’s seniors, and would often see her taking recess and walking by herself.
Farahani could be seen speaking tearfully as she expressed her guilt over her daughter’s circumstances.
She also asked for empathy from netizens who allegedly said she posted the original video to show off her daughter’s English fluency.
On the contrary, Farahani said she shared it as a lesson to other mothers and families.
She wanted to send a message that while it is alright to teach your kids English, one should also converse with their child in their mother tongue — in her case, Malay.
She also implored others to imagine how they would feel if they read such a comment about their child and knew this is what they go through at school daily.
Many replies appeared to offer the girl words of support and advice, with several empathising with her situation as well.
One tried to give encouragement by congratulating her on her grasp of English, saying it is not easy to master.
Another said they had been through something similar as they were only able to speak English up until they began schooling.
However, they gradually learned how to speak Malay on their own.
One netizen comforted the girl and also encouraged her by saying she can pick up Malay in a month’s time.
They also praised her for her English fluency, saying she had already mastered the more difficult language.
Meanwhile, one netizen advised the girl’s mother that parents are the ones who shape their children, offering her brother-in-law as an example.
Despite being an Englishman, he and his Malaysian wife have taught their child both Malay and English from a young age.
While we cannot claim to know the full circumstances of the matter, it goes without saying that we should not ostracise others for being different from us.
Oftentimes, these differences are not within our control.
As such, we should do our best to show acceptance towards others and aim to learn from each other instead.
We hope the girl and her mother will find a way to overcome this, and that she’ll be able to strike up a genuine friendship in the near future.
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Featured image adapted from TikTok.
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